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July 25, 2006

"There Can No Longer Be a Hezbollah"

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

In a SPIEGEL interview, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, discusses Israel's bombing attacks on Lebanon, a weak Lebanese government that has been unable to contain Hezbollah and the roles played by Syria and Iran in the current conflict:

SPIEGEL: How do you react to the massive international criticism of the many innocent victims?

Livni: I very much regret the civilian victims. But there is a very significant difference between us and our enemies: we are defending ourselves against anyone who attacks us and use every means possible to prevent hitting civilians. The Hezbollah, however, intentionally aims its weapons at the houses of uninvolved citizens, at women and children. Israel only attacks areas where, according to our knowledge, there are terrorists. The problem is that the Hezbollah hides some of its weapons in apartment houses.

SPIEGEL: Does that justify the growing number of civilians that have been killed?

Livni: As the government of the state of Israel we are faced with a dilemma: do we expose our citizens to this threat or do we attack? Incidentally, we are doing something that no other country would do -- we warn the people using Lebanese television, radio and flyers that we spread over the affected areas. We ask the people to leave their homes and get themselves to safety.

SPIEGEL: What is the goal of the military action?

Livni: It's not only about the goal of the military action but about the demands of the international community that we explicitly share. They are: there must be a government and an army in Lebanon. There can no longer be militias and terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah. Hezbollah must be completely disarmed. They should no longer have the ability to be armed by Syria and Iran. In southern Lebanon there can be no more Hezbollah bases. The Lebanese army must be stationed there in its place. The global community a while ago demanded that the Lebanese government fulfill its responsibilities. It hasn't yet done so.

It's one of those "must reads"...

As we said in a post yesterday: "You can't have a democracy and allow militias. In three out of three of the last three democratic elections in the Middle East (all three predominantly Muslim countries), armed militias were allowed to continue to exist - Hamas' Sunni militia in the PA, Muqtada al-Sadr's Shi'ite militia in Iraq, and Hezbollah's Shi'ite militia in Lebanon. In 100% of the cases, Islamic extremism, fueled predominantly by Iran (in all three cases) - continued and increasing violence, death, hate, and intolerance of any faith other than Shi'ite extremism." ... "Where there are militias there is no true democracy and no lasting peace. Where the radical Islamic mindset exists, there can be no peace. Wherever Iran has influence, there is violence, death, and war. And Iran believes the West is dumb enough to believe the "peaceful use of nuclear technology" line - because for the most part, particularly in Europe, we are!"

Hat tip - Freedom's Zone

Posted by Richard at July 25, 2006 11:33 AM

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